Cornwall Mayoralty Debate Exposes Lack of Leadership by Julie Johnston 100418

Cornwall Ontario – Last night’s debate involving the four Mayoral candidates revealed true colours and where “THEIR” priorities are.

Bernadette continues to show her preference on an art center yet cries about the “poor” in the same breath.

The tactic of repeating and repeating the same words like “infrastructure”,  “art center,” “partners” felt like a brainwashing experiment.

Bernadette has fully dedicated herself to this art project that will end up being a tax burden like the other “visions” in Cornwall.

The fact that she referred to a “POLL”  like a family feud survey and made a decision based on 100 people does not justify wasteful spending nor does it reflect the real issues that are affecting the people in this city.

It’s very easy to set up a poll in favour of your vision! When it comes to the seniors that she “loves so much”, she continues to be two faced about it as evidenced by the rise in taxation and her historical failures involving her lack of action with the Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge.

She said a lot of nothing but key points stood out like the tax defer/relief available to seniors or people on disability. Have you ever tried the process of what it’s like for the person applying for this disability tax? Like everything else within the different hierarchy of government, the process is surely set up to be denied on the first try. Passing the buck to the provincial government is yet another failure of not dealing with the financial burden that this council have created on the tax payer.

We had an art gallery that she did not support, and played a deciding role in its closing. What has changed? The only thing that has changed is that Clement is abusing our tax funds for her interest so sheu and her clicky friends will have a place to share wine. We don’t want or need an art center!!

Leslie O’Shaugnessy was an embarrassment when dealing with a senior who was crying because her slumlord won’t do repairs to her building and it rains in her apartment.

It’s very telling when someone keeps repeating..”If you would have phoned me…. if you would have done this…if you would have done that”. Talk about victim blaming.

Sounds to me that she has reached out, repeatedly, but her voice wasn’t heard and she needed a public platform. To see this elderly woman who was crying make her way to his event to have her pleas finally heard is an embarrassment and reflects the failures of this council.

The thousands of dollars spent on a fire prevention video in which the city refuses to say how much money was wasted, would have been better allocated in enforcing the bylaws that affect our low income seniors forced to live in a slum apartments.

But health and well being of our elderly was the focus of this event. What a shame! He also blamed arbitrators as the excuse as to why taxes have gone up. Being a union person for over 10 years with the city, I can say that the reason why an arbitrator is involved is because the city fails to reach a “fair” agreement forcing a third party to make a decision. What a joke! No accountability, let’s just blame everyone else for our failures.  He also mentioned that there will be another tax hike next year up to 7% but they are going to try and see if they can lower that number.

David Murphy was also a disappointment although he talks better than the others. He doesn’t support an RFP to the OPP because “He” likes the way our police department is. He likes….well the public cannot afford it and I find it suspicious that the police department is the only department to never reach an arbitrator yet has the biggest chunk of the pie. Why’s that?

This isn’t about what you like Mr. Murphy but what is best for the city as a whole. You are misleading the public when you say that contracting the OPP ends up costing us more because if anything goes above their threshold, the city has to come good for it.

He used a weak argument about a murder in the counties in which the OPP charged the counties a million dollars for their service. ‘It’s funny how you say that other communities returned with municipal policing but failed to mention any and failed to do a fair comparison to other cities that did not have a return of municipal policing. But you like our police force that is bleeding the tax payer dry. Sound like another self serving goal!

Out of all of the candidates, Nicole Spahich showed the most sincere compassion when it comes to the homeless, elderly and people in need. She was more transparent with her thoughts on how the city is neglecting the needs of our community and doesn’t support the art center. Although she had difficulty expressing herself, her message was clear. Stop contracting outside sources when people from the city can do the job. Stop abusing our tax dollars for an art center. She also questioned why we pay the highest in taxes compared to other communities and have less service.


What does it say when Spahich was the most credible candidate of the four about Cornwall’s leadership?

Shame on the moderator for berating the crying woman to ask a question repeatedly. Insensitive!

Editor’s note – the health centre, which is funded provincially did not send this newspaper a release or invite to the event.   With less than 50 people in attendance for a mayoralty debate one wonders why public dollars and facilities are being used in this abusive and anti democratic manner?



  1. Well Julie,,,,You just about nailed it ! Of the three, who do you vote for ? Really, really hard ! For myself, honesty & integrity are of the most importance. Because, of his treatment of Diane Shay , I cannot consider Les the “bus driver” ! However, I welcome him to defend his actions publicly, on this matter ? Something he has never explained . Why the extreme flip-flop ?

  2. If I lived in Cornwall I would write in the name of Jamie Gilcig as mayor and if desperation got too far I would have to write in Fitzie the dog. Things were never as bad as what they are today and my shock is still with me on the taxes and even the utility bills. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I said Thank You Lord for Guiding me Out of Cornwall.

  3. My choice is Korey Kennedy

  4. Les will never explain his flip-flop. It’s like he’s saying “I do what I’m told”

    None of the four are acceptable, A write-in will be my option.

    I thought there was to be a televised mayor candidates debate? Found it… Wednesday, Oct. 10 for the debate at the Cornwall Civic Complex, which will also air on YourTV.

  5. One well written article … leaving nothing to add.

  6. I am not a big supporter but this riding made itself very clear in the last Provincial election. They want less Government less taxes a Government. for the people. B for Mayor is living a fantasy. D for mayor is just another councilor. I am not sure the present Mayor gets it. I do not know much about the fourth candidate. This city really needs a Ford to drop the hammer.

  7. Four years ago when this council was elected on a platform of accountability, transparency and responsibility what the tax payers didn’t understand is that to council they had achieved their goal with no intention of acting on those promises. Now it is up to the voting public to decide if it is time to pay the piper for their deceit.

    Diane Shay

  8. There are some very good people down in Cornwall like Diane Shay, nurse Julie, Mr. Hickley, of course our Jamie Gilcig and a lot of others who have suffered under very bad management. Stop voting for the same old bunch just to fill the void. Make sure that the people that you vote for are worth the bother. Les proved himself to be a failure among others. Jamie is my choice if I moved back.

  9. It feels weird when I agree with Jules. I voted at an advance poll. I had trouble coming up with 10 for council, I think I found 8 that I voted for. None of the 4 running for mayor got my vote, spoiled ballot. Clerks made sure that was what I wanted to do. Even my wife had trouble voting for mayor. She likes BC, but said none of them deserve to be mayor.

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